- Materials Science; Physics and Astronomy; Chemistry; Ferromagnetic oxides; First-principles calculations; Narrow bandgaps; Orthorhombic; Ti2O3
Magnetic semiconductors are highly sought in spintronics, which allow not only the control of charge carriers like in traditional electronics, but also the control of spin states. However, almost all known magnetic semiconductors are featured with bandgaps larger than 1 eV, which limits their applications in long-wavelength regimes. In this work, the discovery of orthorhombic-structured TiOfilms is reported as a unique narrow-bandgap (≈0.1 eV) ferromagnetic oxide semiconductor. In contrast, the well-known corundum-structured TiOpolymorph has an antiferromagnetic ground state. This comprehensive study on epitaxial TiOthin films reveals strong correlations between structure, electrical, and magnetic properties. The new orthorhombic TiOpolymorph is found to be n-type with a very high electron concentration, while the bulk-type trigonal-structured TiOis p-type. More interestingly, in contrast to the antiferromagnetic ground state of trigonal bulk TiO, unexpected ferromagnetism with a transition temperature well above room temperature is observed in the orthorhombic TiO, which is confirmed by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism measurements. Using first-principles calculations, the ferromagnetism is attributed to a particular type of oxygen vacancies in the orthorhombic TiO. The room-temperature ferromagnetism observed in orthorhombic-structured TiO, demonstrates a new route toward controlling magnetism in epitaxial oxide films through selective stabilization of polymorph phases.